According to the recently published Labour Market survey by the Office for National Statistics, one fifth of new graduates are out of work with more being forced to take jobs that do not require a degree.
Although the graduate unemployment rate has improved since the beginning of the recession, the data still shows a rise in graduates embarking on careers with lower skill sets. Earlier this month, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said, “Raising the skills of UK workers must be accompanied with an industrial strategy focused on boosting high-value industries… otherwise public investment in education and the talents of UK graduates will be wasted.” So, how can a graduate ensure a long and fruitful career in their chosen industry?
Research published in January by High Fliers, found that half of recruiters warn that graduates with no previous work experience are unlikely to be successful during the screening and selection process, and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer. Moreover, the data suggests more than a third of the vacancies promoted for 2012 will be filled by graduates who have had previous work experience with the organisation.
Nevertheless, there’s still one key barrier laid out in the axiom, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and if one considers this to be true then the challenge is getting in front of the right people.
It cannot be disputed that in this day and age the Internet is an integral part of our lives, forever altering the way we live and work. This has led to the worldwide domination of online platforms, which allows applicants to reach and interact with people that couldn’t be accessed previously.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow employers to get to know you, your personality and your interests. The days of the paper CV are fading and each platform harbours a hub for you to showcase your strengths. Facebook allows you to display your personality, Twitter gives you a platform to listen and comment on the news agenda and LinkedIn presents the opportunity to upload your CV and interact with professionals in the IT industry.
Despite these benefits, it cannot be denied that these can also be detrimental to future success in the job market.
This week, Eurocom Worldwide released their 2012 annual technology survey, which found that one out of five IT executives admitted to rejecting applicants due to what they posted on social media sites. With this knowledge, it is more important than ever to maintain a level of professionalism across social media profiles, and it goes without saying that IT applicants are expected to be particularly savvy in this field!
Don’t let your profiles let you down; ensure you utilise social media to express opinions, engage with debates, create discussions and connect with IT professionals. Once your foot is in the door, the rest they say is history.